Pain & Sensory

Until the mid-1980s, many people, including doctors, considered MS to be a painless condition. It is now widely recognised that MS can cause pain and that at least a third of all people with MS will feel some level of pain at some time.

No two people will experience exactly the same pain. MS pain can come and go in short bursts, or may last longer. It can be a daily nuisance, a distressing but occasional shock, or an ongoing ache that makes it hard to think about anything else. Even mild changes in sensations can have an impact on daily life, so it is important that pain is acknowledged and managed.

Describing and explaining MS pain to health care professionals helps the causes to be found, and knowing the cause of pain can help find the most appropriate ways to manage it. This may include a combination of physiotherapy, drug treatments, complementary therapies and making adjustments to the way that daily activities are approached.

It is best to determine which combination of treatments will suit you by talking about your individual circumstances with your doctor. With recognition and support, it is possible to find relief or gain some control over pain, making it easier to cope with this difficult symptom.

Sensory problems relate to the altered feelings some people with MS can experience. These may include numbness, tingling or pins and needles. While these may not necessarily be painful they can be uncomfortable.